Chapter 695: Gates of Slaughter

    Chapter 695: Gates of Slaughter

    In this instant, Occisus finally accepted its master and propelled her into the realm of the Paragons. The power of her Domain was inferior to that of the Violet Princess, but even the terrible alien's strength couldn't hold thirst for carnage back. Even the universe seemed to shrink away from the fearful sense.

    The Violet Princess, for all her power, hesitated to engage.

    Captus also seemed galvanized by Occisus' display and began to quiver. Ripples of angry red light pulsed from it, weaving among its companion's violent display. A strange, uncomfortable sensation swept across the area.

    The Violet Princess screamed. Her howl still hung in the air as she dissolves into a violet stream of light and vanished into space.

    As she did the blinding red and white lights mingled to create a towering gate. Three words were etched into reality at its apex:

    Gates of Slaughter!

    All around them the universe was a tapestry of red and white, separate but woven together. Time and space collapsed at their borders and any asteroid within 5 kilometers splintered into dust. Nothing was capable of denying the pure destructive force that threatened to devour this pocket of the universe.

    Captus swelled to enormous size. It writhed and cut through the air, wildly casting squalls of power every which way. Occisus continued to burn with a pure white fire, and its light embraced the newly ascended Pharmacist.

    "What are you waiting for, flee!" Jun Yongye's voice rang in Lan Jue's mind. It brought him back to his senses. He reached out his right hand and Captus shrunk as it fell into his palm. Blade and man as one, Lan Jue became a ray of red light that streaked into the distance. The Pharmacist followed close behind.

    Eventually the trail of light they left behind faded into nothing. They were gone.

    The Gates of Slaughter remained behind, but began to fade after ten seconds. Even so the calamitous sensation remained. Waves of its power continued to wreak havoc through the area and fluctuated frantically as though universal protogenia itself was forced to submit.

    After another ten seconds a different power swept through, strong and constraining. Two flashes of purple cut through the pale white light, depositing the Violet Prince and Princess.

    The Princess still looked anxious and apprehensive. Her pretty face pouted in disbelief. "It was so frightening," she said. "It was like my mind and power were in danger of being shattered. How could such boundless power exist? It is in defiance of universal rules, beyond what should be allowed! But I felt it clearly, well beyond that limit - beyond what Monarch can safely use."

    The Violet Prince furrowed his brow, perceiving some invisible thing.  After a moment he spoke again. "Monarch says it is not real... it is a simulation of a real force, like the one in the blade left behind by the human. Monarch has managed to control some measure of the human weapon's power, perhaps He will learn more about this. Princess, you are too cowardly."

    The Violet Princess stood tall and regarded him with prideful incredulity. "I am to be Queen, I must protect myself from danger. That human is also of great interest to me. I wish to take him as my mate, our offspring would be very strong."

    The Prince narrowed his eyes. "What of the female? Maybe she is a suitable breeder."

    A flash of purple lit up the Princess' eyes. Before her, an image of the Pharmacist appeared complete with a near-perfect representation of her aura.


    Twinkling motes of silver filled an empty tract of space. Silken threads of silver grew from them, connecting them. All of a sudden they cracked like a fractures mirror, and from the fissure in space-time there emerged a sapphire blue battleship.

    Any energy signature was constrained. In fact all was quiet, like nothing out of the ordinary had happened at all. Within Zeus-1 the Wine Master sat down on the floor, exhausted. Transferring them over such a long distance by himself was a stretch of his abilities, not to mention the size of the ship. The Starfields were also rife with disrupting energies that made it all the more difficult.

    Lan Jue's face still showed his shock. Captus had disappeared back into its place between dimensions, but Occisus remained suspended in air. It flickered in and out of existence, surrounded by white light. Thankfully, with Captus' help, its unbridled murderous power was contained. Were that not the case he feared for the safety of those onboard the ship.

    No trace was seen of the Pharmacist, who had joined with her blade. However Lan Jue could feel waves of power coming from Occisus that felt familiar.

    At last she had broken through. He couldn't know whether she would rise to be a Reflection of Heaven and Earth like his brother, but it wasn't out of the question. After all, she had the benefit of a Banishing Blade. She would inevitable be integral in the fight against the aliens.

    Lan Jue couldn't say he wasn't a little envious of the Pharmacist's breakthrough. It seemed like everyone around him had been advancing while he remained behind. His brother was especially impressive, leaping to second degree and commanding Varochana as his dharmic reflection. In the course of a single day he had become one of humanity's most promising Paragons.

    Hua Li had also received the rights of his ancestors and ascended to Paragon status. He was now truly His Majesty Poseidon. Chu Cheng had yet to take that step, but was separated by only the thinnest margin. Now, the Pharmacist had joined the ranks of Eastern powerhouses.

    But himself?

    Lan Jue's individual Discipline had risen to ninth level eighth rank. If he wanted he could reach peak rank in very little time, even break through to Paragon. His body was imbued with immortal qi from the thunder essence, and he had command of the mighty All-Heaven lightning. Although he could not be called a Paragon, the truth was he wasn't a typical Adept, either.

    The restriction that had been imposed upon him - by Bize, by the arrow of compassion, by his connection to Qianlin - they held him back. The only way he would rise to Paragon was with Qianlin by his side. Her Discipline was only slightly less than his own, yet Lan Jue was still uneasy. IF she didn't come to before it was time for her breakthrough, it may result in problems. If she couldn't sense the flows of protogenia as she crossed the barrier, how could she advance? It wasn't even certain the process wouldn't come with unseen dangers.

    After all, a Paragon's growth depended on their comprehension of the universe.

    Lan Jue glowered helplessly, but he knew he couldn't rush. He had to find a way to rouse Qianlin from the hell the Astral Phantom had put her in.

    He thought back to Qianlin's small hands gripping his shirt. He took it as a sign that maybe the day she came back to him wasn't far off.

    Each time they cultivated Lan Jue channeled the immortal qi he absorbed from the thunder essence into her body. He hoped it would nourish her. It was the reason she appeared more and more ethereal, like a fairy from the old tales. Whatever awful toxin the Astral Phantom had used, it could not be more powerful than the essence of the immortals. It had to be strong enough to bring her mind back.

    "What did you find out?" The Clockmaker asked, alarmed at Lan Jue's panicked bearing.

    He snapped back to the present and faced her with a bitter smirk. "The aliens' reactions are better than we thought. We captured an alien as fast as we could, but the Violet Princess still tracked us down. Faced with her Domain, the Pharmacist broke through. Then our weapons somehow created this power, on their own. It was powerful enough to scare the Princess away and give us an opportunity to run. I think she's still in the process of her breakthrough now."

    "The Pharmacist broke through, that's incredible! Meditate, learn from the power she releases. I'll protect the ship." Zeus-1 was distant by this point. Unless the three alien planets were headed right for them, there was nothing to worry about.

    In fact the Clockmaker's permission wasn't needed. Su Xiaosu, Lin Guoguo and the Driver were already immersed in meditation. Xiaosu and Guoguo still had a ways to go before it was their time to break through, but the Driver tread nearer every day. His moment would be when the evolution of his Discipline. The primordial lightning he commanded was strengthening fast, though it still couldn't compare to Lan Jue's. At any rate, his ascension was all but assured.

    Lan Jue sat and crossed his legs, slipping into introspective silence as he felt the flows of the Pharmacist's protogenia. It was easy for him to understand its secrets because they were issued from Occisus - a pair to Captus which he bore. When the bearers of the Banishing Blades ascended these weapons would channel their powers, more potent than any astrum. It was something they all had in common.

    Of course, Lan Jue had his own unique potential. His All-Heaven lightning and the thunder essence continued to amalgamate, boosting his cultivation. Most importantly, it gave him a sense of the immortal realm that had passed into legend.
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